Matthew 12:36 says that we shall give account of every idle word in the day of judgment. All of our idle words will be judged at that time. We should not think that after gossiping there is no further problem, for the Lord has said that our idle words will be judged. When I was young, before the invention of the tape recorder, I wondered as I read this verse how our every word could be recorded. Yet today even human beings have invented the tape recorder. There may be some kind of tapes in the heavens which have recorded all of our speaking. We need to be careful. One day the Lord may say, "Listen to this tape of your conversation in the sisters’ house." The best way not to judge is not to talk. I am sorrowful if I hear of rumors spreading among the saints. These rumors are due to talking, and the talking is a kind of judgment. If you want to refrain from judging, cease your idle talking. Then you may ask me, "Brother, what shall we do with our mouth? God gave us two lips and a tongue. We have to use our mouth." That is right. Whenever we come together, we need to use our mouth to call upon the name of the Lord and to praise Him. We need to fellowship about the Lord’s grace. We have many positive things to talk about. Why should we discuss negative and unprofitable things?
Do not criticize others or try to correct them. You may think that there is a little splinter in your brother’s eye, but you do not realize there is a log in your eye (7:3). If you are going to remove that splinter, you must first realize that the source is in your own eye. If you remove the log in your eye, you will find that the splinter in his eye is gone. The trouble is not with the eye of your brother; it is actually with your own eye. Therefore, do not try to pluck out the splinter from your brother’s eye, but remove the log from your own eye; and you will find that the splinter in his eye has disappeared.
If you are loose in speaking, you will lose your discernment. You will be unable to discern the right time to speak and the proper thing to say about the Lord. Because you have lost your discernment, you will give the holy things to the dogs and cast your pearls before the swine (Matt. 7:6). You will be unable to detect the right times and the right persons with whom you should share the holy things of God. Some people are like dogs, and we should not give the holy things to them. Other people are like swine, and we should not cast our pearls before them. What are the holy things? In Matthew 7:6 the holy things represent the truths of God. Every truth of God is a holy thing. The pearls represent our experiences of Christ. When we present the truth to people, we need discernment. We must discern what we should share and to what extent we should speak. If we are talkative, we will speak without discernment, without restriction, and we will present the holy things of God to the wrong person. We need to have discernment to recognize when there are dogs before us. At that time, we need to exercise our spirit to restrict our talk. We should realize that some people are swine. We should not present our experiences of Christ to them. If we do, they will trample on them and cause a great deal of damage.
Now we can understand why the Lord Jesus connected this matter of discernment with the matter of judgment. If we know how to refrain from judging and how to exercise our spirit to have full control over our speaking, we will have the discernment to know the right person and the right time to share the truths of God and our experiences of Christ. Having this discernment depends upon our exercise in refusing to judge. We should never speak in a critical, judging way about other people or about other local churches.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 34, by Witness Lee)